Friday, September 18, 2020

Ithamara Koorax – Got To Be Real

The song selection and the effective use of the synthesizer on Ithamara Koorax new release "Got to be real" gives the album a vintage 70s feel. The first half of the album starting with the slow, sexy, smooth jazz arrangement...

Hamilton de Holanda Quintet: Brasilianos 2

The mandolin has barely evolved since its incarnation as a lute in Italy over three hundred years ago. A few more strings may have been added, so that there is now a ten-stringed version; tuning of these strings may have become more creative and different, but the instrument has remained essentially the same. Unlike the violin, its notes decay quicker after they are sounded and cannot usually be sustained after a point. But then you have musicians [...]

Chico Pinheiro – There’s a Storm Inside (Sunnyside Records – 2010)

The near falsetto vocals of Chico Pinheiro perfectly offset the voluptuous music that he has created on There’s a Storm Inside. However narrow his vocal range, Pinheiro is a master storyteller and he weaves his lines like an elaborate tapestry, a sort of patchwork quilt that tells the story his way. Pinheiro has a softness that seems to accelerate and retard his very breath. This increases the dramaturgy of his vocalastics in both English and Portuguese [...]

Grupo Falso Baiano – Viajando Choro e Jazz (Independent 2008)

Of the many non-Brasilian ensembles in the United States besotted with "choro," the music of Brasil and, not simply drawn to it, but actually performing it, Grupo Falso Baiano may very possibly be the finest. The quartet of Jesse Appelman (mandolin), Zack Pitt-Smith (woodwinds), Brian Moran (guitars and cavaquinho) and Ami Molinelli (pandeiro and percussion) [...]
Mario Adnet - Samba Meets Boogie Woogie

Mario Adnet: Samba Meets Boogie Woogie

This is a truly remarkable recording and features fifteen tracks that make for a stellar tribute bossa nova, before it became the Bossa Nova. These fifteen tracks were all written and most of them were performed during the 1940s and 1950s. There have been many recordings that purport to pay tribute to various historic periods in music, but none have been so exquisitely rendered [...]

Phillipe Baden Powell – Piano Masters Series 2

"In every sense Phillipe Baden Powell is one of those musicians who reminds the rest of the world that there is a new musical...
Casa de Bituca - Hamilton de Holanda Quintet

Hamilton de Holanda Quintet: Casa de Bituca

Idolising its heroes is nothing new in a country like Brasil that has been blessed seemingly with more of them than those in almost...

Yamandú Costa e Hamilton de Holanda – Live (Adventure Music)

When Brazil laughs, the world laughs with her. When she cries the world cries with her. No more is there greater evidence of this when the music of that majestic country is played, especially when musicians with the ingenuity of Heitor Villa Lobos, Pixinguinha, Guinga, Chico Buarque, Hermeto Pascoal, and Egberto Gismonti among others sing of her beauty and grand design. In that magnificent musical geometry and in the edifice of her epic tradition [...]

Mario Adnet – More Jobim Jazz (Adventure Music – 2011)

Of all the musicians who have contributed to keeping the repertoire of great Brazilian composers alive, Mario Adnet may be making the greatest contribution here. Like trombonist Roswell Rudd, soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy and pianist Misha Mengleberg who gone to great lengths to keep the music of the great pianist and composer Herbie Nichols’ and (to a certain extent) Thelonious Monk’s repertoire alive, the guitarist Adnet has created some of [...]

Mike Marshall – An Adventure 1999—2009 (Adventure Music – 2010)

Few musicians deserve a retrospective more richly than the mandolin player, Mike Marshall. The ground-breaking, genre defying instrumentalist and composer has melded his prodigious skills with musicians as far removed as David Grisman and Darol Anger, Bela Fleck and Caterina Lichtenberg… to where his heart lies most comfortably and gracefully, with Brasilian musicians such as Hamilton de Holanda and Hermeto Pascoal. Marshall’s career has spanned [...]

Hendrik Meurkens: Live at Bird’s Eye

Hendrik Meurkens is, most certainly, one of the greatest musical adventurers from Europe. The harmonica wunderkind who also happens to be a fine vibraphone player seems to have almost singlehandedly rediscovered Brazil decades after Stan Getz and Joe Henderson did almost five decades ago. In doing so Meurkens along with the grandmaster of the harmonica, Toots Thielemans, has cast a refreshing light on Brazilian music [...]
The Reunion Project - Varanda

The Reunion Project: Varanda

Listening to Varanda by The Reunion Project, I am struck by how they make of music a living, breathing being, drinking in its heady...
Grupo Falso Baiano - Simplicidade Live at Yoshi

Grupo Falso Baiano: Simplicidade

Unlike Bossa Nova, a widely recognized style in the US, Brazilian choro is relatively unknown outside Brazil. The members of Falso Baiano with their refined and gorgeous sound are trying to change that. Falso Baiano is a choro ensemble based in the United States. Their new release Simplicidade: Live at Yoshi's was recorded live at Yoshi's Club in Oakland, California in July 5, 2010, and captures vividly the richness and beauty of choro music [...]

Peter Schärli Trio w Ithamara Koorax – O Grande Amor (TCB Music)

Brazilian vocalist Ithamara Koorax and the Swiss trio of pianist Hans-Peter Pfammatter, Trumpeter Peter Schärli and bassist Thomas D?rst work together to transcend any barriers of culture and physical distance. Switzerland, where the core of this group is from is not the first area one thinks about when considering Latin Jazz! These musicians are finely tuned with each other, particularly in the title cut, but why, oh why did they choose to leave out percussion [...]
Trio Ciclos Mobiles Vol 1 CD Cover

Trio Ciclos Presents: Mobiles Vol. 1

While you will never hear the enormous struggle of the musicians of Trio Ciclos’ impulses to break free of some of the more binding...

Brazilian Trio – Constelação

The art of the Brazilian Trio is defined by the superlative musicality of the players that comprise it: by the delicate trellis work of...

Benjamim Taubkin – Piano Masters Vol. 1 (Adventure Music – 2010)

Any musician with the daring to attempt a solo project has to be on his game from the moment his fingers touch the keys. However few pianists—since the great Bill Evans—have shown unrivalled touch and expression as Paul Bley, Keith Jarrett, Michel Pilc and now the majestic Brazilian pianist, Benjamim Taubkin. Fortuitously, Adventure Music selected him to inaugurate their forthcoming series with Piano Masters Vol. 1. Here he plays mostly [...]

Jovino Santos Neto & Weber Iago – Live (Adventure Music 2008)

The most striking aspect of this package is its utter perfection. Artists always strive for this no matter what, but as Eric Dolphy once suggested after a particularly wonderful recording a short time before he died in Sweden, the magic is so fleeting that if you miss the moment it is gone forever. Fortunately there was the recording that Dolphy had just completed [...]
Phil Marucci - Next Stop Brazil

Phil Marucci: Next Stop Brazil

You would be forgiven if you thought you were listening to a Brasilian while playing Next Stop Brazil by Phil Marucci. The Portuguese is...
Felipe Salles - The Lullaby Project

Felipe Salles: The Lullaby Project

When you are so perfectly attuned to your ancestry and your culture as Felipe Salles is then you are halfway to producing the most...